ForSaleByOwner.com Founder Sells Condo — Using Real Estate
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REAL ESTATE MARKETS
ForSaleByOwner.com Founder Sells Condo —
Using Real Estate Agent
By Alison Rogers @RE_Rookie
Aug. 17, 2011
Correction: An earlier version of this article mistakenly identified Colby
Sambrotto as a founder of FSBO.com. In fact, he is a founder
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They’re known as “FSBOs” — properties that are For Sale By Owner. Every
year, hundreds of thousands of properties are listed, not by real estate agents,
but by the owners themselves. Now, I’m a real estate agent, but I do
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understand this: Often, these are property holders who want to save a real
estate agent’s fee. These FSBOs are willing to do the work of researching a
property’s correct price, staging it to its optimum, advertising it in the right
channels and to the right buyers, and showing, showing, showing.
But sometimes, FSBOs are just owners who have unrealistic expectations of
how easy it is to sell a property — why, just list it on the Internet and the
buyers will come, they theorize. That’s why it was a sweet tale for every real
estate agent to hear that Colby Sambrotto, one of the founders of Internet listing site ForSaleByOwner.com, ended
up hiring a real estate agent to sell his $2 million condo.
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The sale closed earlier this summer. The agent, Jesse Buckler of Bond New York, reportedly took a 6% commission,
which is usually considered a full commission in Manhattan.
Now if you follow real estate, you know that this story isn’t that unusual. I believe I’ve heard craiglist.org founder
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Perhaps that’s one reason why FSBOs accounted for just 9% of overall home sales in 2010, according to the
National Association of Realtors.
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More interesting to me was Buckler’s pricing strategy. It’s been reported that Sambrotto had the listing on the
market for months as his own FSBO; I actually see it in my computer system — I’m a working agent in Manhattan
— as having gone through two other agents.
However, when Buckler got the listing — this spring, as Wall Streeters got their bonuses and the market for 2-
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bedrooms heated up — he jumped the sales price by $150,000, from $2 million to $2.1 million.
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At that 7.5% higher price, the condo received multiple offers. So it can be argued that Buckler paid for himself and
Are agents really so magical that hiring one is going to generate an extra 7.5% in sales price? Not always, but a
working agent does have a big advantage over an FSBO seller — the owner is selling only one property, but the
agent is involved in multiple transactions.
As a result, the agent can often get a better immediate “read” on the market, due to having a broader sample of
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In fact, nearly a quarter of FSBOs surveyed said that “Getting the right price” was the hardest thing for them to do,
even ahead of “having enough time to devote to all aspects of the sale” (23%) and “preparing/fixing up the home for
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Now if you’ve read this far and still want to go FSBO, don’t let me stop you. Just remember, it’s not as easy as the
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In fact a friend just sold his home fsbo in nyc last month - he just used a fsbo platform like www.hauseit.com
they get you on OLR which is the local MLS, as well as relevant local and national sites like StreetEasy ... all for
a few hundred bucks
It's really not that hard these days to FSBO in NYC...
Well, that's too bad. I mean, it is a little bit funny. When a CEO doesn't use their own business, you have to
wonder how much they believe in it. It sure doesn't look good on the outside to say the least.
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